Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
BURLINGTON – Vermont captured the outright America East Regular Season crown for the sixth time in program history with a 62-50 conference win over Albany on Wednesday night in front of a sold-out Patrick Gym crowd. The Catamounts secured home court advantage in the upcoming America East Tournament.
Vermont matches a single-season record with 25 wins and improves to 25-5 overall. The Cats become the second team in America East history to start conference play at 15-0. UVM extends the country’s second longest-active winning streak to 17 games. Albany falls to 18-12 overall and 9-6 in conference play.
The Catamounts outscored Albany 32-14 in the paint and converted 14 turnovers by Albany into 20 points on the offensive end of the floor.
Payton Henson dropped 18 points, six rebounds, and two assists to lead UVM. The redshirt junior was 5-of-9 from the floor and a perfect 6-for-6 at the line. Ernie Duncan drained 5-of-8 attempts from the field, including a trio of long distance shots, for 13 points. Anthony Lamb added 12 second-half points and grabbed five rebounds. Trae Bell-Haynes was one point shy of double figures with nine points, four boards, two assists, and two steals.
Albany’s David Nichols matched Henson with 18 points and made four attempts from beyond the arc. Joe Cremo followed with 12 points, four rebounds, and three assists.
The two rivals swapped buckets through the opening six and a half minutes until Albany broke free. With the Cats leading 10-7, the Great Danes produced a 12-5 run for a 19-12 advantage at the 7:35 mark.
Bell-Haynes helped UVM claw back into the game with seven points in the last six minutes of the half as the green and gold trailed 27-24 at the break.
After a scoreless first half, Lamb picked up the offensive tempo with six quick points but Nichols nailed his four triples to keep Albany ahead 39-32. Vermont answered with a 23-9 run in an 11-minute span to take a 55-48 lead with five and a half minutes left in the game.
With under four minutes to play, Travis Charles hit a jumper but it was the final two points of the night for Albany. UVM closed out the contest with seven unanswered points to keep its undefeated conference record in check.
Vermont wraps up the regular season on Saturday (Feb. 25) against Stony Brook at 2 p.m. The Catamounts will honor seniors Darren Payen, Kurt Steidl, and Dre Wills before the game for Senior Day. The game can be seen on ESPN3 and the watchESPN app by logging in with your cable provider.
AMERICA EAST QUARTERFINAL TICKET INFORMATION
Season ticket holders can purchase their tickets for the quarterfinal round of the America East Tournament by Sunday (Feb. 26). A public ticket sale will start at 12 p.m. on Monday (Feb. 27). Visit UVMathletics.com/Tickets for more information or contact the UVM Ticket Office via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 802-656-4410.